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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:48 pm 
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NBA playoffs: Washington Wizards up 2-0 on Atlanta Hawks after 109-101 win in Game 2

Updated on Apr 19, 2017 at 08:46 PM PDT

By Sean Meagher | The Oregonian/OregonLive CLOSE



WIZARDS 109, HAWKS 101

The Washington Wizards are headed to Atlanta with a 2-0 series lead on the Hawks after a 109-101 victory in Game 2 on Wednesday.

The Wizards turned a four-point deficit after three quarters into an eight-point victory behind a 35-point fourth quarter. Bradley Beal scored 16 of his 31 points in the final frame as Washington shot 67 percent and scored 12 points off six Atlanta turnovers.

John Wall finished with a game-high 32 points for the second straight game as he and Beal became the the first pair of Wizards teammates to each score 30-plus in a playoff win since 1986 .

Paul Millsap recorded a double-double with 27 points and 10 rebounds and Dennis Schroder added 23 points and six assists for the Hawks.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:48 pm 
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Cleveland Cavaliers rally from 25-point halftime deficit behind LeBron James, stun Indiana Pacers in Game 3, 119-114


Thomas Ondrey, The Plain Dealer

By Chris Fedor, cleveland.com 

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Cleveland Cavaliers are no strangers to epic comebacks.

This one, however, defies "epic." Fantastic. Stunning. Shocking. They're not quite there, either.

The Cavaliers did what has never occurred in NBA playoff history Thursday night, rallying from a 25-point halftime deficit to stun the Indiana Pacers, 119-114, in Game 3 of the first-round playoff series.

The Cavs now lead the best-of-seven matchup 3-0. 

After a dreadful first half, the Cavaliers stormed out of the locker room on a 13-3 sprint and never relented. During a dominant third quarter, the Cavaliers' offense, led by LeBron James, scored 35 points on 11-of-22 from the field, including 7-of-13 from 3-point range.

James scored 13 of his game-high 41 points in the period, doing damage inside and outside. He also added 12 assists and 13 rebounds, his 17th postseason triple-double. 

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:52 pm 
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Meanwhile, as was the case in Game 2 Monday night, the Cavaliers turned up the energy on the defensive end as well, holding Indiana to 17 points on 5-of-26 shooting in the period.

The Pacers were flustered. Their offense became stagnant and they started complaining about calls that didn't go their way. Suddenly the free-flowing squad that carved up Cleveland's defense in the first half had vanished. 

With Pacers star Paul George silenced in the period, held to zero points on 0-of-5 from the field after tallying 23 points in the first half, the Pacers had nowhere else to turn. By the end of the quarter, the Cavaliers had trimmed the deficit to just seven points and had taken all the momentum. 

James' driving dunk at the 6:58 mark of the fourth quarter tied the game at 98 and his layup less than two minutes later gave the Cavs a one-point lead, 105-104. Treys by Channing Frye and James eventually made it 114-107, and just enough free throws in the final two minutes put it away.

As good as the Cavs' defense was in the second half, suffocating the Pacers and sucking the life out of the gold-colored and once-raucous sellout crowd, it was equally as bad in the first half. 

The 74 points tallied by the Pacers were the most the Cavs have allowed in one half in a playoff game. For Indiana, it's the most scored in a first half this season, surpassing their previous best of 68, which came on April 8 against the Orlando Magic. 

Still, when the champs needed stops on the defensive end they were able to get them, holding Indiana to 40 second-half points. This time, the Pacers were left picking up the pieces of their shattered defense. 

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:53 pm 
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During the second half, the Cavs scored 70 points. They made 12 3-pointers. They didn't commit a single turnover, forcing the Pacers to have to execute in the halfcourt repeatedly. 

Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, Frye and Kyrie Irving each added 13 points. Kyle Korver chipped in with 12 off the bench. 

Irving, who struggled with his shot all night, going 4-of-17 from the field and and 1-of-6 from beyond the arc, only played around eight minutes in the second half, as Lue opted to ride his bench. Love also sat out the final quarter as James, Korver, Frye, Deron Williams and Iman Shumpert played most of the period, with Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith rotating in. 

At the 7:26 mark of the second quarter, James made a fading jumper while getting fouled by George. The basket was another slice of history, moving James into third place on the NBA's all-time postseason scoring list, passing Kobe Bryant (5,640). Next up for James is Michael Jordan (5,987) and Kareem Abdul-Jabaar (5,762).

James also extended his streak of winning at least one road playoff game in 27 straight series, a mark that dates back to the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals. His teams have won 20 consecutive first-round contests, tying the longest such streak since 1983-84.

The Pacers were led by George. He scored 36 points on 10-of-28 from the field. Jeff Teague added 15 points.

The Pacers were 38-of-95 shooting as team, including 16-of-41 from beyond the arc. 

The Cavs have a chance to sweep the series on Sunday afternoon. 

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:48 pm 
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The San Antonio Spurs haven't lost a playoff game in the Bluff City since 2011, and theMemphis Grizzlies haven't beaten them anytime or anywhere since winning that first-round series.

Spurs guard Tony Parker doesn't believe any of that matters.

"We have a lot of respect for Memphis," Parker said Wednesday. "They made it hard on us during the regular season, and I expect them to play very well at home. And we know a series can change very fast. We've been up two in the past and a team came back, so I just want to make sure we stay focused."

So do the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Like the Spurs, the Cavaliers can take a big step a toward potential first-round sweep Thursday night when they play at Indiana. While San Antonio is looking to sweep Memphis for a third straight playoff series, the Cavaliers are 12-0 in series when they go up 2-0.

Having LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love locked in sure helps.

"Having those guys is a great luxury because every night two of the three should play well," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. "And if two of the three guys play well and we get someone to pitch in off the bench we're pretty unstoppable."

Some things to know about Thursday's matchups:

———

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:50 pm 
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Cavaliers at Pacers, Cleveland leads 2-0. Game 3, 7 p.m., TNT.

NEED TO KNOW: James has won 19 straight opening-round games. The Pacers may be making a lineup change looking for a defensive boost and a way to stay in front of James, Irving and Love. Indiana may bring Al Jefferson, who did not play in either of the first two games, off the bench to give the Pacers more size to help with that.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Cleveland's Kyle Korver has scored just four points and attempted five shots in the first two games. The Pacers have done a good job keeping close tabs on the marksman so far, and they better be careful in Game 3 as Korver made eight 3-pointers and scored 29 on his last visit to Indianapolis on Feb. 8, when the Cavs scored 132 points.

INJURY UPDATE: Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith is questionable for Game 3 after sitting out the second half of Game 2 with a left hamstring injury. An MRI exam showed only a bruise. Smith said his leg felt better Wednesday, and he likely will be a game-time decision. "I don't like sitting out," Smith said. "Sat out enough."

THE PRESSURE IN ON: George. After criticizing his teammates following the first two games, Indiana's star might have to carry the Pacers himself if they have any hope of getting back into the series.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:57 pm 
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MEMPHIS, Tennessee (AP) — Mike Conley scored 24 points and handed out eight assists as the Memphis Grizzlies ended a 10-game postseason skid against San Antonio by routing the Spurs 105-94 on Thursday night.

The Grizzlies pulled within 2-1 in this first-round Western Conference series, giving first-year coach David Fizdale his first postseason victory. This also marked the Grizzlies’ first win over the Spurs in the playoffs since April 2011, when Memphis beat San Antonio in six games.

Game 4 is Saturday night.

Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph each scored 21 points for Memphis, which outscored San Antonio 31-17 in the third quarter and led by as much as 22 in the second half.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:58 pm 
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Kawhi Leonard, who scored 32 and 37 in the first two games, was held to 18. LaMarcus Aldridge added 16, and Kyle Anderson had 15 as Spurs coach Gregg Popovich benched his starters for most of the fourth quarter.

Memphis fans roared when Fizdale came onto the court before the game following his rant against officiating in Game 2, which cost him a $30,000 fine from the NBA. And they stayed on their feet much of the night, funneling their frustration into yelling for the Grizzlies and against the officials.

In this game, the Spurs had a big edge at the line in the first half (10 of 15) compared to the Grizzlies, who took only four free throws the entire first half. The crew of James Capers, Courtney Kirkland and Pat Fraher whistled the Spurs for only one foul in the second quarter — with 10.9 seconds left.

But Randolph scored 11 points in the second quarter, and the Grizzlies took a 50-46 lead into halftime. Then they really took control, opening the third by hitting 10 of their first 14 shots. They also played much better defense, harassing the Spurs into missing 11 of their first 17 in the quarter.

Popovich tried pulling his starters completely at one point, then simply sat down at others.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:00 pm 
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Spurs: Manu Ginobili became the first second-round draft pick to play 200 career playoff games. … The Spurs shot an NBA-best 87.7 percent at the free throw line through the first two playoff games. They finished 16 of 28 (57.1 percent).

Grizzlies: Fizdale stuck with the lineup that worked in the second half of Game 2 when Memphis outscored the Spurs 45-40 despite losing. That meant Randolph and James Ennis both starting. This was just the sixth start for Randolph, who had 19 double-doubles off the bench during the regular season. He scored 11 points in the second quarter and even had a rare dunk.

GAME 3

The Spurs have dominated the postseason against Memphis, sweeping all three of the series San Antonio won with the exception of 2011. The third game of each series has been tight with three decided by single digits, and Game 3 of the 2013 West finals went to overtime before the Spurs won 104-93. The Grizzlies’ lone win in that span in the third game of any series with San Antonio came in 2011 when they won in six games.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:08 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:09 pm 
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With strained calf healing, Warriors' Kevin Durant hopeful for Game 3FacebookTwitterFacebook MessengerEmailcomment

4:45 AM UTC

Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Kevin Durant said he felt ready to play in Golden State's Game 2 playoff win Wednesday, yet the Warriors opted to be cautious with their superstar as he nurses a strained left calf.

Durant posted an update about his injury during a livestream on his personal YouTube channel Thursday evening. He is hopeful of playing in Saturday's Game 3 at Portland as the Warriors try to take a 3-0 lead in the first-round series, though coach Steve Kerr said being up two games could affect any decision.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:10 pm 
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"I miss being out there with them, and hopefully I'm out there the next game. Speaking of that, I have a little calf injury," Durant said, showing his left calf wrapped with blue tape. "Unfortunate that I pulled my calf in Game 1 in the third quarter. It felt good to finish the game, but afterward it tightened up on me a little bit and I was sore for the next few days."

After he missed 19 games with a left knee injury suffered Feb. 28 at Washington and then returning for the final three regular-season contests, the Warriors certainly aren't going to take any risks with KD. He had 32 points and 10 rebounds in a Game 1 victory Sunday -- his playoff debut with the Warriors.

"It felt like I could go yesterday, but Coach Kerr and the training staff and the whole organization told me it would be best to give it a few more days of rest, so hopefully I'll see how I feel these next couple days," Durant said. "We have one more extra day before the game starts, we'll see how I feel. But I'm getting better every day. Hopefully I can be out there with my teammates grinding it out, trying to move forward and get a W in Game 3. We'll see what happens."

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:12 pm 
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Golden State took the day off from practice Thursday following the 110-81 victory, then was scheduled to practice Friday morning before flying to Portland.

"We've been in that situation and hopefully it's a very short absence for him and he'll be back soon," center Zaza Pachulia said. "But health is very important, obviously. Yeah, every game matters, but at the same time we're looking far into the future where we're playing for another two months. Hopefully it's just a little problem, not a big deal."

While Durant is impatient to get on the court, he said he will get all the treatment and ice needed for his injury.

"It's a bummer, man, I hate being out. I hate being hurt," Durant said. "It's something that's kind of out of my control right now, just try to get better. ... I'm positive about it. Up 2-0, going to Portland, the series starts Game 3. Can't wait."

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:01 pm 
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Golden State Warriors

Lead NBA Round 1 against Portland Trail Blazers 2-0

Game 3, Tomorrow, 10:30 AM

Moda Center

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:32 pm 
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Warriors bench back to being a strength

OAKLAND – The Warriors’ “Strength in Numbers” campaign got a makeover. The black and gold switched to the traditional team colors. The cursive grungy font straightened and bolded with a tilt.

The new look was on display for Game 2. During a break in play, the Warriors rolled out a flag the size of the court promoting the team’s philosophy. Though many surmised as much when the Warriors dumped their supporting cast in pursuit of Kevin Durant, the “Strength in Numbers” movement isn’t over. It just looks a little different.

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